Crowds, not pods

Crowd's Instagram account - free form pod interference.

Having a high following on social media platforms can show how trustworthy a brand is. Therefore, it can be tempting to buy followers, or join ‘pods’. ‘Pods’ are a group of Instagram users that join together to increase interactivity on each others posts. Due to the updated feed layout of Instagram, the photographs appear in order of interest to the users, meaning posts of brands could get pushed to the bottom of their target audiences feed. Instagram also base the order of posts on the engagement, therefore increased likes and comments can mean being featured higher on followers homepages.

Crowd investigated whether joining these pods are worth it, or not. Here’s our thoughts…

Suspicious results

Once you have found a quality pod (which can be a challenge in itself), likes on photos will most probably increase, however these likes will not be progressive. To the current followers of your profile, it will be obvious the engagement has been manipulated which can lead to a loss of organic followers, as the brand can appear less trustworthy.

Results will not be meaningful

For a brand, it is important that current and future customers are captivated by the content produced, so they are driven to engage with the brand further. Therefore, if likes are coming from a prior agreement, it is unlikely the engagements are consuming the content, or even paying attention to it. So not actually increasing the awareness of the brand.

Engage with irrelevant brands

As part of the agreement, you will have to like all of the content everyone else in the pod posts (usually within a time constraint). This means there is no control of what your brand engages with. Engagement with other and relevant profiles is important, however irrelevant engagement can cause a decrease of the brand’s authenticity.

Instagram wipes inorganic followers. Instagram invests a lot of time in ensuring their users are real, causing them to deactivate many suspicious accounts. Therefore, joining a pod can result in a loss of followers and engagements, after the initial increase.

We recommend investing the time in great content, to build up organic and real followers. These followers will be advocates of the brand, meaning the content posted is of better quality and will have more positive impacts for the brand. This will result in higher engagements by followers who want to invest in your brand!